When American John McSwaney and his British-born wife, Christine, bought their apartment in Burley on the Hill, a circa-1700 manor located in the English countryside two hours north of London, their mission was to create something the original owners would have been proud of. Daniel Finch, the second Earl of Nottingham, began constructing Burley in the 1690s, and it stayed in the family until around 1990, when it was sold to a Turkish businessman. Part of the estate eventually wound up in the hands of English restoration expert Kit Martin, who converted its buildings into multiple residences, creating six apartments out of the main house. Several years later the McSwaneys, who live in Florida but spend three or four months a year in England visiting Christine’s family, happened upon a listing for the property. They hired designer Mark Gillette, a specialist in country-house renovations, to make the home both period-appropriate and comfortable.
This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of Architectural Digest. Text by Anthony Gardner, photography by Luke White.